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Chandrasekhar mass

Upper bound for the masses of white dwarfs, in other words: for what low-mass stars become when they have used up their nuclear fuel. The first to calculate this upper bound was the Indian astrophysicist Subramanian Chandrasekhar.

The Chandrasekhar mass is 1.4 times as large as the solar_mass. The reason that no white dwarf can have more mass follows from its need to maintain equilibrium between the gravitational force working towards further collapse and the interior pressure of the star acting to prevent collapse. For larger masses, the degeneracy pressure on which a white dwarf's stability depends is overcome, and further collapse ensues.


Variants

  • Chandrasekhar limit